San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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October 8th, 2009
Touting her financial stewardship, judge inflates county’s bond rating

Managing Editor

Hays County Judge Elizabeth Sumter wrote a guest column for area media yesterday heralding her stewardship of county finances and the resulting upgrade to a prime AAA bond rating, the highest available.

“I treat our county budget like I treat my own — save as much as I can, live within my means, and borrow only when necessary. This simple financial policy allowed us to get for Hays County an AAA bond rating, an upgrade from AA. This means we get lower interest rates when we borrow money for our major projects,” Sumter wrote.

There’s just one problem: It never happened.

Standard and Poor’s rates the county’s financial strength as AA, two rungs below AAA. A corporation or government’s bond rating assesses its financial health and credit-worthiness, comparable to an individual’s credit rating.

“Maybe someone hit the ‘A’ key an extra time,” said County Auditor Bill Herzog. “I would have to ask her what she’s referring to.”

UPDATE 2:20 p.m. OCT. 8: Sumter released the following correction: “Our bond rating went from an A+ to a AA, a two step increase. I had our bond rating listed incorrectly in the first version.”

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2 thoughts on “Touting her financial stewardship, judge inflates county’s bond rating

  1. I think the Sumter-bashing is over the top sometimes but things like this just make you shake your head and wonder what went wrong.

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